Recently, I attended a Wildtree party and blogged about the experience. Well a few weeks ago, I tried out another “meal plan” called Plated. I first heard about Plated from watching the show Shark Tank. I have purchased a few Shark Tank products in the past and it’s been sort of hit or miss. After watching the episode of Shark Tank that had Plated on, I went to their website, where I entered my email address and looked around. It was pretty pricey so I decided to pass. But then a week or so later, I got an email saying I could get 4 meals free with a purchase of 2. With the deal, I figured why not give it a try.
Meals are $12 a piece and usually one recipe is for 2 meals. So normally I would have paid $72 (3 recipes for 6 meals at $12 a piece) but instead I paid $24, not bad! So what exactly is Plated? Well, its a food service where they mail you ingredients for a recipe and provide the recipe and you make the food.
When you sign up for your first delivery, you sign up for the “membership”. I use “membership” in quotes because you can cancel at any time and you can select weekly or every other week for deliveries, but you can also cancel or postpone a week as well. So basically, you can have a delivery as often or as infrequent as you want. You select your food preferences; I opted out of lamb but you can ask for only vegetarian or no steak, etc. You can also select if you want 2, 4 or 6 meals (various other options as well).
You can select what day of the week you want the delivery to arrive. It comes in a box and ours was shipped via Lasership right to our door. It was packaged very well; all the food was kept cool. The box of food came with recipe cards for the three meals. This service would be great for an urban couple, who might not have a ton of kitchen space to stock up on certain ingredients used in the recipes, or for a couple that doesn’t have time to go shopping or look for new recipes. I live in suburbia and have a pretty big kitchen that I’ve stocked up over the past few years so a lot of the ingredients I had at home, so it felt a little silly to be paying for the ingredients to ship when I had a lot at home (like spices and garlic, not the produce).
I admit when I ordered, I thought more of the food would be prepared so I was a little blind-sided when my first meal took over an hour to prepare! However, once my hubby and I started to prepare the second meal, we were starting to get the hang out if and it took a lot less time. By the third meal, I felt like we were old pros in the kitchen!
The food was so delicious! When we were preparing the first meal and it was taking a while, I was cursing that I had signed us up. Then the food was done, it was so good that we felt like it was worth all the effort it in the end. The ingredients were also very fresh; it seemed like better quality produce than I can get at the grocery store. The meat was also really good quality.
On top of the fresh ingredients, a big benefit is having a unique meal, with different flavors than the usual meals I cook. I tend to cook the same type of food so these recipes were a completely different set of ingredients than I usually make. I also felt like they were very healthy meals, so perfect to help keep my carb counts lower to help my blood sugars. The only problem was that the meals didn’t provide carb counts so I had to guess a little. The meals were also big portion sizes! (not complaining, they were filling!)
The six recipes I’ve made through Plated are:
- Seared Steak with Garlicky Potatoes and Greek Salad
- Creamy Tahini and Roasted Red Pepper Spaghetti
- Chicken Ropa Vieja with Black Beans and Rice
- Steak and Zucchini Gyros with Pesto
- Avocado, Quinoa and Mango Salad with Jalapeño Vinaigrette
- Chinese-Style Chicken Salad with Napa Cabbage, Almonds and Mustard Soy Vinaigrette
When I first started to write this blog post, I had the one order delivery and since then, I have actually had a second order delivered and I am equally impressed. The second order I did end up paying the full amount, $72 which is a little steep for my taste but the food is so good, it ends up being worth it.
Pros: Delicious food, unique recipes, fresh ingredients, packaged well, website easy to use, membership easy to cancel, postpone, etc., can change day of delivery or amount of food you want, great for urban couples, healthy food so good if you are trying to be low carb!
Cons: Expensive, time-intensive to prepare, a little wasteful if you do have majority of the ingredients at home
Overall, Plated is an expensive, time-intensive experience but the food was so fresh and delicious and different that I think it out-weighs the cons (plus it was fun to cook with my husband-I made him help out :-P). I won’t be doing the weekly service, but I’m planning on having meals shipped monthly.
* Side note, when I first started writing this post about a month ago, they were offering incentives for referrals, if I referred you to Plated, I would get 2 free meals and you would get 2 free meals, not bad! But somehow in the last month, they changed their referrals so I no longer have any incentive to refer, but people I refer to Plated get 6 free meals-the catch is that I have to have ordered from them three times, which I haven’t. I reached out to their team to see if I could offer my readers and discount and they decline to provide one, so not too happy about that since the deals are really nice for the first order and I would recommend them-oh well!